Trump backs LA Olympics bid in meeting with IOC chief


United States President Donald Trump reaffirmed his support of Los Angeles’ bid for the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games during a meeting with International Olympic Committee (IOC) head Thomas Bach at the White House.

Los Angeles’ attempt at securing the hosting rights for the Games was high on the agenda at the meeting in Washington D.C., has reported.

Few other details have emerged, however, with no official statement released by the White House. Trump also, unusually, did not tweet about the meeting.

The meeting represented the most significant discussion Trump has had with an IOC official since he was elected US President in November.

It was also the first time the IOC President has travelled to the White House since Lord Killanin met there with then US President Jimmy Carter in May 1980 in an attempt to avoid an American boycott of that year’s Olympic Games in Moscow.

“The meeting with the President took place yesterday and President Trump confirmed his support for the Los Angeles candidature,” the IOC said in a short statement sent to insidethegames.

Bach spoke to Trump, who has publicly backed the Los Angeles 2024 bid but has not played an active part in their campaign, on the telephone last November.

During their bid, Los Angeles leaders have constantly played down fears that Trump’s election would harm their cause.

The Republican President has divided the US with his policies including a controversial travel ban – which blocked people from seven Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – from being granted entry to the country for a 90-day period.

Back in May, Los Angeles 2024 chairman Casey Wasserman claimed Trump had “done everything” to support their bid and that he had been “all I would hope for”.

Meanwhile, a record 2,400 separate events were held in the United States as part of Olympic Day. The numbers include activities hosted by Los Angeles 2024 bosses.

The events on Friday were spread across 1,600 communities in the country with more than 600,000 people participating. Among the activities was a sports clinic session organised by Los Angeles 2024 at Will Rogers State Beach in Santa Monica.

Around 500 young people were able to test their skills in eight Olympic and Paralympic sports such as athletics, fencing and sitting volleyball. Joining them and providing some advice were former Olympians and Paralympic stars for the US including swimmer Janet Evans, gymnast Samantha Peszek and figure skating siblings Alex Shibutani and Maia Shibutani.

Los Angeles 2024 chairman Casey Wasserman was also at the event and said eeing the amount of support across the nation was a big boost for the bid team. “LA 2024 believes in the power of the Olympic values to unite our communities and to encourage youth around the world to play sports and pursue active lives,” Wasserman said.

“It makes me very proud to know that hundreds of thousands of people around the nation are following Los Angeles’ lead today in celebrating the power of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“Days like today boost our belief that Los Angeles 2024 is the perfect partner to help the International Olympic Committee strengthen and spread Olympic values in the US and worldwide.”

Olympic Day is held annually on June 23. It commemorates the founding of the international Olympic Movement by Pierre de Coubertin on June 23, 1894.

The aim of the day is to spread the ideas of the Olympic Movement and promote participation in sport around the world.